Whilst we are traditional in our approach to discipline, the academy day and the curriculum our students follow is modern, innovative and personalised. From the moment students arrive at John Smeaton they are encouraged to choose subjects they like and have ability in, so that more time can be devoted to gaining greater mastery in these areas over a 30 period week.
Obviously alongside Options, students will be studying compulsory courses in English, Maths and Science from Years 7-11.
In this section of the website we will post relevant Options presentations and forms for Parents and carers to view, print and complete as appropriate.
Year 6 into 7
In Year 7 students can choose to study one of the following subjects for 3 lessons per week for the whole year:
Art, Drama, Music, Computer Science, Food Technology, Resistant Materials, Textiles.
Year 7 into 8
When students get to Year 8, we ask them to choose 2 of these subjects. They are free to change and try something new if they wish or continue with the option from Year 7. The hope is that by the time they are considering GCSE options they will be fairly advanced in their skills and understanding of at least one if not two of these subjects. This would not be possible if a more traditional ‘carousel’ approach was used with less time studying more subjects.
Year 8 into 9
In Year 9 students undertake ‘Pre-Options’ which must include at least one of the following subjects:
History, Geography, Computer Science
These ‘Ebacc’ subjects as they are known are high value qualifications in terms of their attraction to Post 16 providers, Employers and Universities.
Other courses included in this Year 9 offer are the subjects listed in the Year 7 list above plus the Ebacc subjects so that students can follow an academic route if this is suitable for them. Spanish is compulsory for all students in Year 9.
The aim of the Year 9 options system is to ensure students are well prepared to make their option choices for Years 10 and 11 whilst simultaneously providing them with the essential study skills to make an accelerated start to increasingly demanding GCSE subjects.
Year 9 into 10
In Year 10 and 11 students are offered the full range of courses to suit a mixture of academic, vocational and practical pathways building on the mastery gained in Years 7 to 9. Again, we guide the students to choose an Ebacc subject (including Spanish at this point) and most will continue with the choice from Year 9. They then have three free choices from an extensive list. The 206-17 offer includes:
History, Geography, Computer Science, Spanish, Business Studies, Health and Social Care, Art, Music, Performing Arts, ICT, Resistant Materials, Graphics, Food Technology, Textiles, Physical Education, Dance, Religious Education and Sociology.
These are all 2 year courses and so students will continue with these options into Year 11.